The Disappearance of the Jack Family (1989)



This case is now almost 33 years old and remains unsolved. The Jack family was a family of 4 living in Prince George, British Columbia. Ronald (known as Ronnie) and Doreen Jack who were originally from Burn Lake, BC were both 26 years old at the time, and had two sons Russel who was 9 and Ryan who was only 4.


The night of August 1st 1989 seemed like any normal night for Ronald Jack, he was out at a local pub called The First Litre Club, only 4 blocks away from home. This is where he meets a man who offered him and Doreen jobs at a logging camp or ranch possibly near Clucluz Lake. The two men went back to Ronalds home together.


According to a Prince George Citizen news article, the unknown man is described as causasian, between the age of 35 to 40 years old, with reddish brown hair and a full beard, he stood between 6 to 6”6 and weighed approximately 200 to 275 lbs. He was seen wearing a ball cap, red checkered work shirt, faded blue jeans, blue nylon jacket, and work boots with leather fringes over the toes at the time.



Sketch of Suspect


In the early hours of August 2nd, around 1:30 am, the family loaded up a dark colored 4-wheel drive pick up truck, as they didn’t have a vehicle of their own. The Police believe the unknown man offered to drive the family to the job site, it is also said that the couple took the boys with them with the promise of childcare at the camp while they worked.


Before heading out to the logging camp or ranch, Ronald did make a phone call to his brother at 11:16 that evening and his mother closer to 1 am, letting her know that they are heading out to work for 10 days and they would be back before Russell started school in September. Unfortunately, that is the last time anyone heard from the family. The family of 4 was reported missing on August 25th


Since the start of the investigation, Mounties have conducted hundreds of interviews and have obtained thousands of related documents.


On Jan. 28, 1996, a phone call came in to the local RCMP detachment, stating that the Jack family were buried on a ranch.

The voice was extremely muffled,it was so muffled, that the name of the ranch could not be understood. Specialists were called in to try and clean up the phone message, with the goal that the name would be revealed. Unfortunately that didnt happen.

They were unable to hear the name of the ranch mentioned.Unfortunately, the story faded from the news.

Many theories have been discussed, and Over the years, police have identified several sites where the bodies of the Jack family may have been buried.

On August 28,29, the 30th of 2019, The Serious Crime Unit underwent a search in a portion of the Saik’uz First Nations Reserve with the help of civilian experts, ground-penetrating radar and heavy equipment according to a local News article. The Prince George RCMP stated that no evidence was uncovered and the reservation can now be removed from the list of locations with possible clues to what happened to the young family.


Prince George is about an hour drive away from Vanderhoof BC which is 14km away from the Saik-uz First Nations Reserve. Also, 14 km is about 8.5 miles


When the 30 year anniversary of the disappearance arrived, Investigators and the Prince George RCMP detachment renewed phone calls for information. It does not mention if it is the same tipster from 1996 but they are seeking an anonymous tipster who they believe could have useful information. They stated they tipster provided information to a 3rd party- by phone and by email which was then given to investigators.

The RCMP won't say when this happened or what the information was, as it could compromise the investigation.But investigators do want to speak directly to the original tipster, in hope that they could provide a fresh lead after 30 years

One theory that I came across while researching is, Bobby Jack Fowler, a convicted American Serial Killer who died in prison back in 2006.On June 28, 1995, Fowler was arrested after a woman jumped out of a Tides Inn motel window, in Newport Oregon with a rope still tied around her ankles. She survived the attack and was able to report her horrible experience to the local police. On January 8, 1996, Fowler was convicted of Kidnapping in the 1st Degree, Attempted Rape in the 1st Degree, Sexual Abuse in the 1st Degree, Coercion, Assault in the Fourth Degree, and Menacing. He was sentenced to 16 years, 3 months with the possibility of parole but luckily he would only live another 10 years and never get the chance to have freedom.

Initially, On 25 September 2012 the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Lincoln County District Attorney Rob Bovett named Bobby Jack Fowler as a suspect in three of the Highway of Tears murders. Fowler traveled seasonally for construction work all over North America, including British Columbia. His DNA was found on the body of Colleen MacMillen, one of the presumed victims. He is also a strong suspect for the disappearance of Gayle Weys who went missing while hiking from Clearwater to Kamloops to visit her parents in October 1973, it took until next spring for her body to be discovered on a logging road. Pamela Darlington, who also went missing in 1973, was last seen at a bar in Kamloops and was found the next day in a nearby park, in the South Thompson River. It’s already a sad story but a 17 year old boy found Ms. Darlington's body on the edge of his family's property. Fowler was active from 1973 to 1995.

However, Geographic profiler Kim Rossmo states on record that in his opinion Fowler is not responsible for any of the deaths along Highway 16 between 1989 and 2006.[9] It is possible that the only thing linking Fowler to Highway 16 is that he worked for a now closed Prince George roofing company, Happy's Roofing, in 1974.


Unfortunately there are not many theories on what happened to the missing family, Doreen’s sister, Maureen has been fighting to keep the case active and hope alive which has not been easy. In September 2017, Maureen testified about the case during hearings at the national inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Smithers, B.C. and was praised by the commissioner for her bravery.

Marlene Jack


I found a great article from the APTN National news regarding Maureen and a woman named Jan Guppy who in 2019 created a facebook page called Unidentified Human Remains Canada when she noticed a lack of information and resources for families of missing loved ones. Guppy, built a network with forensics artists through her advocacy work and offered to bring in another forensics artist, Samantha Steinberg of the Miami-Dade Police Department in the U.S. to help create age progression photos which were released in September 2020 on their facebook page. This post was shared thousands of times and according to this article written that same month, Guppy stated that she had already received several tips on the case since the photos were released leading to “renewed hope” for the family.

Each age progression image is accompanied by the original image of Ronnie, Doreen, Russell and Ryan.

Doreen Jack

Ronald (Ronnie) Jack

Russell Jack

Ryan Jack

Prince George RCMP has told the family they would work on creating their own age-progression photos but Jack said she was told they weren’t satisfied with their versions.

It is very important that the small family remains known to the public. The RCMP and relatives of the family are hopeful that these new images will inspire those with information about the disappearance to come forward and speak with investigators.

Anyone with information on the incidents is asked to anonymously contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.pgcrimestoppers.bc.ca (English only).

You do not have to reveal your identity to Crime Stoppers. If you provide information that leads to an arrest or recovery of stolen property, you could be eligible for a cash reward.


References

29 years ago, a family of 4 vanished — but RCMP are still investigating | CBC News


Mystery remains around disappearance of Jack family - Prince George Citizen


https://www.cbc.ca/news/indigenous/missing-jack-family-search-1.5277378


https://www.myprincegeorgenow.com/107192/jack-family-missing-persons-investigation-still-active-prince-george-rcmpcorr/


Canada's Missing | Case details (rcmp-grc.gc.ca)


Missing family not forgotten - Prince George Citizen


Prince George RCMP - Age enhanced images of the missing Jack Family (rcmp-grc.gc.ca)


-B.C. cold case breakthrough stirs memories | CBC News


-https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/deceased-u-s-convict-linked-to-3-b-c-cold-cases-1.1167468


-https://murderpedia.org/male.F/f/fowler-bobby-jack.htm


https://www.aptnnews.ca/national-news/new-photos-of-missing-jack-family-bring-renewed-hope-for-sister/


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